Monthly Archives: June 2011

Best. Neighbors. Ever.

Skippy John Jones G.

I look across the street tonight and see the blue Volvo and silver minivan parked where they’ve been for the past couple of years. I see Chris mowing his lawn. The other day I talked to Madeline, Anna, Molly and Carter about vacation Bible camp, Subway meals and trips to the Bay.

Nothing really, except the sad knowledge and “Under Contract” sign, indicates that tomorrow a moving truck will collect their furniture and move everything to Richmond. In two days a new family will move into the house across the street.

The current family couldn’t be any better. They are some of the sweetest people I have ever known. Chris took care of Andrew when he had his skin infection (knowing a dermatologist is handy). Madeline actively  participated in our neighborhood book group. Anna once stage whispered to a friend that Dean was really nice. Molly and Carter entertained us with their 3/4-year old antics.

And then there is Skippy John Jones G. who, although may have pooed on our lawn a few times, was the friendliest cat in the ‘hood. At least to neighbors and the mailman, who on more than one occasion sat on the stoop and gave Skippy a cuddle.

The new family has an incredible act to follow.

The G. family will be missed. Very much.

New Whiteboard Rules, OK?

Something to keep you occupied while I work my way through work-related piles of PDFs and out of my blogging slump.

I don’t remember when we bought our first whiteboard. I think I may have bought a large one to use when I was a teacher, then to my husbands dismay, brought it home and hung it somewhere in the house. He ended up hanging it in the basement office, where it still hangs today usually filled with Clare’s temporary artwork or Dean’s explanation of some math or financial formula. When the children were very young he’d have them sit on a mini-John Deere tractor and they’d have lessons in math, written on the whiteboard. He called these sessions “Math Tractor”.

I purchased two smaller whiteboards, possibly for school as well, that ended up in the kitchen. One on the refrigerator and one above the doorway to the hallway leading to the living room. The one on the refrigerator was used to write notes while on the telephone or to let others know where we’d gone and when we’d be back. The whiteboard above the doorway was mostly used by Dean when he had something really important to say because it would be found lying on the counter with the important message — something the rest of us would find hard to miss.

The other day Dean replaced one of the whiteboards on which I’d accidently used permanent marker to write down a phone number of a caller. As soon as he attached the new whiteboard to the side of our refrigerator he wrote: New Whiteboard Rules. I thought, “it sure does”, but knew he’d have more to say on the subject.

Sure enough, yesterday morning I saw this when I wandered into the kitchen for my morning coffee:


New Whiteboard Rules
New Whiteboard Rules

Andrew, who rarely, if ever, used any of the whiteboards must have been inspired, because, to let us know he was headed to the beach with a friend, he’d taken down the old whiteboard from above the doorway, placed it on the counter and written this:

– sleeping at Will’s again – going to leave from there tomorrow – won’t see you til Weds – I may call in the morning to pick up anything – Love you, Happy Father’s yesterday

Like father like son?

A fun tease?

Or simply coincidence?